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Interview: Ed Wynne (Ozric Tentacles)

Rock Stars...

Ed Wynne is the founding member of the Ozric Tentacles who celebrate their 20th anniversary next year.

Special thanks to Dave Clarke at Planet Earth Publicity for arranging the interview, Zoe Pennington and Karen James for some top questions and Ed Wynne for his time & answers.

What special plans have you got next year for your 20th anniversary?

We're bringing out an album, which should be out in the first half of next year. It will be a normal Ozric's album but with special guest appearances from various people, which we are doing now. Probably do some gigs, just carry on being us lot but only twenty years later.

You are playing the Marquee with Arthur Brown next year as well?

I think we are yeah. I don't normally hear about these gigs until two weeks before.

Have you played with Arthur Brown before?

We did a festival this year in Canterbury and the whole thing was hosted by Arthur Brown. He kinda liked what we were doing. This birthday party of his was meant to have been in the next couple of weeks but it got put back to later on.

How did you get on the Canterbury festival?

We don't hail from Canterbury (laughs). I am not sure how we got it. One of the people who help arrange our tours nowadays helped put the show on. I think he lived down in Canterbury.

Do you hear or find your influences on modern bands like Orbital and so on?

I do sometimes. I don't tend to listen to a lot of music. What I really like listening to is stuff from foreign countries.

Have there been any major musical influences on the Ozric's style of music?

In the old days there was Gong and Hawkwind and stuff like that. Nowadays I listen to compilations people make me of Algerian. Moroccan, Indian and other stuff is where my ideas come from. I don't listen to rock music enough. Our band is rocky enough and when we go to a tour it's enough rock music in the ears for a while. Slightly more interested in other worldly music from eastern parts really.

A couple of founder members left to form Eat Static. Was it a major upheaval when they left?

It was just before an American tour and luckily there were a couple of people ready to replace them. They knew enough of the music to get away with it. I've just moved house recently and live just down the road from Merv from Eat Static, literally just two minutes away. It's very nice and I am starting to collaborate with him.

Are you working with System 7, Steve Hillage's band?

For this album, yeah we will be. He'll do a couple of tunes or whatever seems appropriate at the time. It's really nice to sit down with Steve in the studio.

What have been the highlights and lowpoints of the band's career so far?

Highlights were when we found ourselves in the charts with `Jurassic Shift'. But that was just once. Certain moments in certain gigs, one of which was our second to last gig in Athens recently. Full on crowd with the whole placed filled up and felt like one of the most amazing gigs really. To have travelled that far - very nice. Occasionally I get these lowpoints. I get these feelings just to branch out and do stuff on my own. I get a little restless having to be the Ozric Tentacles all the time. I have a lot more music that I do. Sometimes I think I must make an album in a different style. That will be nice when it comes along. I'll find a space for that one.

Which countries do you have a strong fan base?

Italy is massive when we go out there. For some reason they really love it out there. Greece as I said. Most places in Europe always seem to come flocking. Holland, Belgium is always good. We haven't done many in France and just a few in Germany, which is starting to pick up now. Italy and Greece now, more so than England.

You have recently recruited a new bass player. How has he settled in?

Yes we have. He's called Pazza, who's actually amazing. He's learnt all the parts and added his own little bits in. More aggressive player and comes up with these ideas. He will plays differently each night. Nice to hear him trying something different each night.

Do you still keep in contact with past members?

We are all great friends still. Merv, who used to play drums and is now in Eat Static, just got back from seeing him ten minutes ago for a nice cup of tea (laughs). I am actually doing a gig in Exeter with Merv under the name of Nodens Ictus, something we used to do and have started again. A more ambient Ozrics.

Who came up with the album cover artwork ideas?

A lady called Lynn, who I have known for many years and she can draw a good picture. She did most of it, I've done a couple and there's this other guy as well. It looks nice as well and they all come out pretty spacey.

Outside of music what do you enjoy doing?

I really like cooking (laughs). People tell me I can cook quite well. I really like holidays in tropical places and record nature sounds for albums. It's something I hope to do very soon. Especially as the weather starts to bite.

You have a new DVD out. Is this your first DVD release?

I watched it the other day and it comes out okay. One of the few videos of us playing that I am happy with. This one I was actually able to mix it, so that's what makes me happy. Although sometimes the pictures chop 'n' change a little bit too manically for personal choice. I like to see the person doing the solo rather than just chop around everybody in repetition. On day maybe I will do a director's cut (laughs).

Has the Internet helped bands like yourself? Or has it lost you sales through downloading?

We have a website that has helped us a lot. I think it is a little nutty that people can just grab music for free but then people burn CD's up anyway. All you have to hope for is the loyalty of your fans.

Have you a message for your fans…

Hello there, hang in there. The new album's almost finished, it's getting better by the day and look forward to seeing you all out there in the cosmos.

Interview © 2002 Jason Ritchie


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